Stars and Stripes stripes.com 12 Jan, 2021 18:00 am

Smithsonian abandons $2 billion expansion plan unveiled in 2014

Smithsonian abandons $2 billion expansion plan unveiled in 2014
When the Smithsonian introduced a futuristic plan for the 17 acres around its iconic administration building, the National Historic Landmark known as the Castle, officials predicted it would be a game-changer that would remake the structure into a visitor gateway to the storied institution.

The downsized version — to be introduced at a meeting with community leaders Wednesday and to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) on Thursday — will not feature the "Blade Runner"-esque plaza, new Mall-facing entrances to the National Museum of African Art and Arthur M.But Bunch said the Smithsonian looks forward to working with the NCPC, an agency that he worked with during the design and construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.It is mentioned as a preferred site for the newly authorized National Museum of the American Latino.When David Skorton succeeded Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough in 2015, Skorton first focused on the opening of the $540 million National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016, and then the almost $1 billion overhaul of the National Air and Space Museum, the institution'smost popular attraction.

That structure, built in 1987, houses the Ripley Center, Sackler Gallery and African art museum.Many critics disliked the removal of the entrance pavilions to the African art museum and the Sackler's Asian art gallery, while others disliked the expanded underground space and seismic protections that they worried put the 1855 Castle at risk.

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